Tiffy and Leon share an apartment. Tiffy and Leon have never met.
After a bad breakup, Tiffy Moore needs a place to live. Fast. And cheap. But the apartments in her budget have her wondering if astonishingly colored mold on the walls counts as art.
Desperation makes her open minded, so she answers an ad for a flatshare. Leon, a night shift worker, will take the apartment during the day, and Tiffy can have it nights and weekends. He’ll only ever be there when she’s at the office. In fact, they’ll never even have to meet.
Tiffy and Leon start writing each other notes – first about what day is garbage day, and politely establishing what leftovers are up for grabs, and the evergreen question of whether the toilet seat should stay up or down. Even though they are opposites, they soon become friends. And then maybe more.
But falling in love with your roommate is probably a terrible idea…especially if you’ve never met.
What if your roommate is your soul mate? A joyful, quirky romantic comedy, Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare is a feel-good novel about finding love in the most unexpected of ways.
I absolutely loved this book. I knew as I was reading it that it was going to become one of my all-time favorite reads.
Tiffy and Leon share a flat, but they’ve never met each other. When Leon needs to make some extra money, he decides to find a roommate to share his one bedroom flat. The roommate will have the flat during the night, while Leon has it during the day as he is a nurse who works nights. Tiffy has hit a rough spot. After ending things for good with her on-again-off-again boyfriend, she’s looking for someplace inexpensive to live. When she sees Leon’s advertisement, she finds it’s the best option out there for her that’s within her very tight budget.
Throughout the book, Leon and Tiffy end up communicating to each other via post-it notes. And it’s lovely. I love this idea so much. Writing to someone lets you get to know them in such a different way than more traditional ways… like in person. ha. Anyways, don’t worry, Tiffy and Leon do eventually meet face to face, and the resulting scene is one of the funniest I’ve ever read. Chapter 28 is my particular favorite in the book. I was laughing so much while reading it. O’Leary has such wonderful natural humor and it helps balance out the more serious parts of the book.
This book has everything. It’s hilarious, it’s touching, it’s deep. It covers the broken prison system, gaslighting in relationships, consent, and so much more. I particularly liked how O’Leary covered the topic of consent in relationships. It’s demonstrated in both a subtle yet clear and most importantly attainable and realistic way.
Both Tiffy and Leon are incredibly likable and I couldn’t help but love them both. Tiffy is a multi-faceted character. She has a lot confidence in regards to who she is as a person, dressing colorfully and boldly, never one to fade into the background. But she’s also let her ex-boyfriend control and change her more than she realizes.
Leon is such a sweet guy. People call him quiet, but he’s able to pack a lot of meaning into the few words he does say. He’s doing everything he can to help his brother as well as be a good son to his mother. You’ll notice quickly that Leon’s POV chapters are different. They’re written in a type of short-hand almost. It really helps to put you in Leon’s mind and view things from his perspective.
Both Tiffy and Leon do so much growing and evolving in the story, but in the end what makes them each unique is still there. They aren’t unrecognizable from where they began but they’ve definitely made strides. These are two characters that are very much fleshed out and realistic. I wish I knew these two in real life.
Highly recommended for anyone who loves a good story. You won’t be able to put this one down.
ALSO! Mark your calendars for June 16th! I had the opportunity to interview Beth about the book, her inspiration, and her writing life and will be sharing it all on my blog on then. I’m so excited to share it with y’all!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
MEET THE AUTHOR: Beth O’Leary
Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).
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